Saturday, November 20, 2010

Having drunk the kool aid that has now replaced my blood

"Have you ever owned a Mac before?"

"Son, most likely I've been using Macs longer than you've been alive." I didn't ask for verification of his age, but my point was made.

Early on in Apple's history, ad agencies used their computers. Even though I had a Kaypro at home, I used a Classic Apple at work. That was in the late 1980s/early 1990s.

The first Apple computer I ever owned was a IIc, given to me by the sister of a friend. The computer was already a relic, and to tell you the truth, I didn't ever use it. However, I still have it, as that friend has since passed on. As soon as I could I bought an Apple for home, a Centris model.  When it was stolen one Thanksgiving break-in, another friend gave me an old Classic to use.

At one point in Apple's history they leased out their operating system, which immediately flooded the market with inexpensive Mac knock-offs, and I bought one: a Starmax 300 made by Motorola. No sooner had I acquired it, Apple ceased the leasing program. My computer was doomed to obsolescence in one week. I still have that computer, and it still works like a charm. Slow as hell (it was the fastest available when new), but I fire it up every now and then to retrieve old poems and stories.

When we opened the gallery in 1998, I purchased my first laptop, a Wall Street, again made by Apple. My son still uses it. And when OS 10 first came on the scene, the handwriting was on the wall for OS 9, and it was time to upgrade once again, this time to a G4. The beauty of that machine was that it ran both OS 9 and OS 10, giving me a chance to archive while still working in the old OS.

In 2006 I came into a bit of money and expanded my video production capabilities, which made it necessary to upgrade to a G5. As soon as I made the switch, Apple announced that it was changing to Intel processors, which meant a new configuration for their OS. While the switch meant more Windows-based apps could be run, it also meant more obsolescence was on the way. Still, I used that machine for over four years, until it died earlier this week.

Well, it didn't exactly die. The power came on, but the OS wouldn't fire up. Fortunately, everything was backed up. Everything. So, I took it to the nearest Apple Store, some sixty miles from home. The young man who hooked up the machine for a diagnosis was pleasant enough, even though he could not say for certain what was wrong with it.

"Can you fix it here?'

"Uh, no, we send them out. And Apple won't be able to fix it either because it is a vintage machine."

"Vintage?" I asked but I already knew soft corporate-speak when I heard the word. Basically, they couldn't be bothered with an older machine.

"They don't carry the parts for vintage machines. However, if you take it to a Mac Store, they'll be able to get it fixed for you." As if this post is not already boring you to tears, I must bother with some clarification that you might give less of a shit about: Apple Stores are corporate; Mac Stores are licensees. In fact, I bought my G5 from a Mac Store a mere 15 miles from home, the same one to which this young man was referring me.

"Don't you send the machines to the same place?"


Never mind that when I called the Apple Store to tell them my pre-Intel Mac was broken, they made an appointment for me anyway.

So, back to Salem. Another diagnostic gave the same results, or lack thereof, so I left it there to be sent to their repair shop. This morning I received the news: for $2,083 I could have my old machine as good as new...vintage new. Just under the amount of money a new one would cost.

Well, I can't say I didn't see this coming, so I told the repair guy to pull the hard drives and optical drive and send them back to the Mac Store, and I'd come fetch them. I hung up the phone and hopped in DW's car. I was going shopping.

As I said, I saw this coming, so I had already looked online to ponder my next purchase. So, now I am the somewhat proud owner of a 17" MacBook Pro. By some miracle I can still use my 30" Cinema Display that I bought with my G%, so there's that to be thankful for, I suppose.

But now the fun really starts. It will be interesting to see how much of my old pre-Intel software is still useable. After today's purchase, I can't really afford a new Final Cut Pro (video editing), PhotoShop, and who knows what else.

I have been in a foul mood over this all day. No, actually longer, for when I have wanted to purchase new Mac software for photo processing, I learned that the new stuff wouldn't be supported by a pre-Intel machine. And then, just like today and Monday, I found no compassion from the salespeople. I can't really blame them though. Times have changed, and this vintage grumpy guy, who used to be a proud member of what used to be a community of  loyal Apple users, people who knew they were using the best computers available and advocated for the company because of this fact, just didn't understand that once Apple became a successful mass-market corporation, it obviously didn't really have to give a flying fuck.

No, I'm not surprised.

Oh, and my G4 bit the dust this week too.


NT said...

One word: Rosetta.
Install it, and most of your pre-Intel software will run just fine.

KenP said...

Hopefully there is USB along with their favored Firewire. Either way you can pick up decent external cabinets for the HD and even the opti.

If it has USB, I'll recommend this 7 port powered extender:

It works to perfection on all USB flavors. Only annoying part is the LEDs that have no real reason to brighten the room.

I hope you like yours better than I like my PC one. Those keyboards drive me nuts.

Crash said...

That machine should come with iPhoto and iMovie. They probably won't do everything you want, but they are really quite useful for editing.

bastinptc said...

NT - Thanks. I looked up Rosetta. Found a page on the Apple site. Now, if I can figure out how to download it...

Ken - I have 3 external hard drives on firewire. I have a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, so I'm good to go. I am certain I'll get used to the change. We are, after all, supposed to be adaptive creatures.

I owned a Compaq laptop for a short while this year, obstenisbly for poker and road trips. Couldn't adjust and shipped it off to my daughter.

Crash - With Nina's suggestion, I hopefully won't have to worry.

TenMile said...

Crash said...

The Apple Rosetta page says Rosetta is included in OS X and runs invisibly for programs it supports.

bastinptc said...

Thanks for all of the advice, folks. By tonight I should pretty much know where I stand on software.